What are the aims of teaching science?
The National Curriculum describes the purpose of teaching science as:-
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
How is the National Curriculum covered in science?
At Bramley St Peter’s the children are taught aspects of science every half term. Each class has the flexibility to have science days or weeks as necessary, to allow time for more extended practical work, which we have a strong emphasis on. We make natural links to other subject areas where possible, rather than science always being taught separately, to ensure that pupils see the relevance of science in the wider world.
What skills are covered during lessons?
In KS1 pupils are taught to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions. They use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
Throughout KS2 children broaden their scientific view of the world around them and develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments. They are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, becoming more systematic in their approach in upper KS2 Towards the end of the key stage they encounter more abstract ideas and are shown how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They are also shown that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They are taught how to use scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about and explain what they have found out.
Throughout school, most of the learning about science is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there is some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and media presentations.
How is progression achieved?
We have a long term plan that details the skill progression across the year groups for both scientific knowledge and working scientifically. The children are assessed regularly by the class teacher and those who are achieving well are encouraged to develop their scientific enquiry skills so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.